Misleading Titles, Disappointing Blog Content

I’ve got to admit that sometimes I wonder if I have a mean streak. I wondered that after I added an addendum to my last post on spam where I gave the information of the guy who’s paid someone twice to leave a spam comment on my blog… the same comment, including the same comment I highlighted in the post; ugh!

Exam Blues
Robin Hutton via Compfight

I thought about it after I did it, then I came to a conclusion; nope, not one bit! Sometimes you have to call a duck a duck even if it’s swimming in gold coins (y’all know that one lol). If it’s purporting itself to be something it’s not, and we’re drawn in by it, then it deserves to be called out for disappointing us.

This brings me to today’s topic, which you see above. I wrote an article almost exactly 2 years ago where I talked about titles, how important they are or aren’t, what the expectation is of the reader when they see the title, and I pretty much ended that article with this line: Don’t play with the audience’s emotions.

When I wrote my post about popups a month ago, I mentioned that I visited lots of blogs every single day and that popups that show when I first get to the site are the most irksome thing I have to deal with and how much I hate it. The second most irksome thing I deal with is visiting a blog or website whose title looks intriguing, only to realize early on that it’s actually garbage.

What makes something garbage when it comes to blogs? Basically it’s one of two things. The first is an article that ends up having nothing to do with the topic. The second is an article promising that it’s going to give you something new and then ends up being a rehash of things we’ve already seen hundreds of times.

I’ve had this particular debate with some long time bloggers. They’re of the opinion that even if something isn’t new to us that it’s new to others. I always agree with that premise. I also always say that’s not my issue; my issue is that someone basically copied what someone else wrote, maybe changed a word or two here and there, and has just delivered an almost perfect carbon copy of the words of others. That’s really my biggest gripe; I don’t care that people talk about the same subject but really, does it take that much effort to have a little bit of originality or the writer’s personality when delivering the same thing again?

Most School Spirit, Senior Superlatives, Fayetteville High School, 1952
North Carolina Digital Heritage Center
via Compfight

Here comes the possibly mean part I alluded to earlier. This one bothered me so much because the title was pretty catchy and drew me in. The title is 15 Blogging Tips and Tricks to Make Your Blog Stand Out, and the link, in case you want to read it, is www.seogdk.com/2016/03/15-blogging-tips-and-tricks-to-make.html. I’m definitely not highlighting these things but at least I’m sharing them so you can make your own decision as to whether the post, a guest post by the way, delivers on its promise. Meanwhile, what I’m going to do it highlight some of the topics and talk about why they don’t make anything “pop”.

Decide Your Blogging Niche

Beginner 101; what is your blog about? True, a lot of people who decide to get into blogging aren’t sure what they want to write about, so it’s not bad advice. It’s just not advice that’s going to make anyone’s blog “pop”. It’s direction might help your blog become successful, depending on what you consider success being, but there’s nothing exciting about figuring out what you’re going to write about.

Design Your Blog Properly

The problem with this bit of advice is that it’s way too vague to be helpful. There are some marvelously designed blogs that are eye catching; I’ll acknowledge that. But when you think about proper blog design in general, you have to agree that all blogs are pretty much the same. There’s an area for content, an area for comments (if the blogger cares), an area to advertise or show other stuff in sidebars, a header, possibly a footer (I don’t have one; oops)… that’s pretty much it. That’s “proper” blog design; other things might make a blog “pop”, but as I sit here thinking about it right now the only blog coming to my mind that has real visual pop belongs to The Jack B; it’s visually stunning and he’s a character. 🙂

Add About & Privacy Page

Pop? Really? An About page is a necessity because if your content has engaged people then they might want to know who they’re dealing with. If you’re hoping to do business in any way this is an important page to have.

The privacy page? There’s nothing “popping” about that. It’s not even a necessity for most blogs or businesses, since, if you’re predisposed to do so, you can mention something about it in your About page.

Proper Keyword Research

If you were in college this would be considered a 3rd year topic of discussion. There’s nothing “popping” about it either, but for those of you who are into a specific niche this could be something pretty important to you. The thing about keyword research (which I don’t do for any of my blogs but have done for my websites) is that it’s mostly important for long term success than anything else. That can be pretty important so it’s good advice and something some folk should learn more about, but it’s not going to be the concern of a majority of bloggers.

God Never Condemns - Kelly O'Dell Stanley Quote
Creative Commons License Kevin Shorter via Compfight

Don’t be a CopyCat

Once again, this is great advice, but the writer is talking about not plagiarizing what others write more than what I talk about, which is to try to be unique. This is the first topic title that’s different than the norm only because she changed up the words, but have you noticed all the other topics are the exact wording of things you’ve seen before? Don’t worry; the rest of the topics will be the same also.

Write Quality Content

Ugh; I hate this one with a passion almost every time I see it… and I see it often. Even now, I still haven’t met anyone else who’s ever written anything telling others what high quality content is besides me… yes, that’s a link to another one of my posts. 🙂 I’m not saying I’m the premiere authority on what quality content is; what I’m saying is that no one else is even trying to give people their opinion on what it is. They just keep quoting that same, tired statement over and over; folks, don’t you want more than that? Of course, not all that many people have done a video about it…
 


https://youtu.be/0lqXyG9qVDM

Update Consistently

Are you excited? Do you have goose bumps? Do you feel the “pop”? No? Listen, this is once again pretty good advice while not really saying anything. If you’re going to have a blog it’s assumed that you have the intention of writing every once in a while. The more you can write, the better the opportunity you’ll have to connect with others. It’s a necessity for blogging success; it’s just not anything that’s going to push you higher into the stratosphere.

Joyfully sharing
Creative Commons License Quinn Dombrowski via Compfight

Give Some Time to Social Share

I actually have mixed thoughts on this one, but decided to include it. It’s important to promote your blog posts on social media while not overdoing it. Doing so could help you get more visitors and comments, help your posts get ranked higher, and even generate income somehow. Depending on how skilled a marketer you are, it actually could make your blog “pop”.

On the flip side, if you’re content doesn’t support your marketing, the pop is temporary and misleading, which leaves people disappointed. Kind of like how I found this article on Flipboard, which is good marketing, and was unhappy when I saw how it was written; ugh.

Use Google Analytics

Now we’re into back end research, which is good to do if you want to track traffic or campaigns, but has absolutely nothing to do with your blog specifically in helping it make any impact on your audience. At this point I’m wondering if I’m taking the “pop” inference a bit too literal… nah!

Build Your Email List

Maybe the “pop” here relates to those hated popups I’ve already railed against up above (and here and here), but it’s not what the writer’s saying. It’s not that she’s incorrect; a proper mailing list can help most bloggers grow their subscriber base so they’re easier to market to, and it could help them be more successful. But does that impact the visitors to the blog or the content in any positive way? Does it really do anything more than make the blog owner feel good?

By count I griped about 67% of what was written on that other blog post. Please go check it out and tell me if I was too harsh or maybe didn’t know what I was talking about; I’m not scared. However, whether you think I was mean or spot on or you’re somewhere in the middle, you have to admit that what I gave you was not only right on point with my title but was definitely original, even if it’s something I’ve touched on before on this blog.

Is a little originality on common topics really too much to ask for?
 

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Are You An Original?

I’m not always up to date on everything, and I’m betting I’m not the only one. I read and listen to a lot of interviews with people on various subjects, but sometimes it takes me awhile to get to it. A couple of days ago I finally got to a recorded interview Willie Crawford did with a guy named Paul Evans, who runs a website called Nicheology. It helps people learn how to make money through internet marketing, but this guy’s got a real world pedigree of creating and still owning regular businesses as well. He actually had a lot of good things to say during this interview, which took place in November 2008, but I came away with one thing in particular.

Willie asked him what were 3 reasons he believed most people fail at internet marketing. His first answer was the biggie for me: “being a complete copycat.” That’s it, short, sweet and simple. He goes on to say that many people buy a lot of products seeing how someone else did it, or goes to see what someone else did as far as creating their website or marketing their product online and tries to copy it, and then it doesn’t work and they blame whatever it was they read or just find that it’s not working as well for them. He believes that we learn from others by taking things they’ve done and finding new ways of applying them to whatever it is we do or want to do, because even within the same niche nothing is ever the same from person to person or business to business.

I found that an incredible statement and true as well. My wife and I were in the car a few nights ago and she was saying how many of the songs today sound the exact same. I thought back on disco and how, after awhile, you could tell the junk from the good stuff because the junk sounded exactly like something else you’d already heard. And let’s not even get into that European electronic music of the late 80’s and early 80’s; you could have put a monkey in front of the mike and not known who was singing a particular song.

Are you an original? I like to think I am, but at the same time, I acknowledge that I probably could have made things a lot easier if I hadn’t gone into so many things with so much skepticism. I mention Willie because he’s the guy who put together that book I market to the right about 20 Ways To Make $100 A Day, one of the few books that I’ve actually ever gotten something out of, which is why I’ve listened to some of the interviews he’s done and given over the years. True, he’s always marketing, yet there’s something about him that just comes across as original and authentic.

I think that for the most part most of you who visit this blog are extremely original, and I love that. I still feel somewhat cheated when I go to see a blog post and I see the same exact things spouted about how to be successful in internet marketing or blogging that I’ve seen time and time again. I mean, some concepts are what they are; commenting on other blogs will help your blog to grow and there’s no debate about that. But telling people that it’s a new concept is not only a lie, but it’s not original.

Originality is a great thing to strive for; being contrary isn’t. Contrarianism for argument’s sake gets you nothing except a little bit of attention. Taking the opposite side of something you don’t believe in just wastes people’s time. Sometimes it’s way too transparent as well; if I started saying I support efforts of… no, I don’t want to give anything I hate negative attention so I’ll let it go there. lol

Back to the original question; are you original? And are you happy with it? I hope so; that’s when you’re the most interesting.

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The Secret Is There’s No Secrets

Back in March, I wrote kind of a rant post on people who keep writing these posts about driving massive traffic to one’s blog. In it, I griped that these people keep writing the same thing, almost to the point where I wondered if people are just copying what someone else says without putting any real thought into it.

Six months later, I’m still seeing the same kind of thing, only these days people are couching it within the phrase “The Secrets To…” or something like that.

I read a couple earlier today, knowing what I was going to see and was still irked by it. One talked about how to get more visitors to your blog. The other was about how to get free advertising to one’s blog. Both are the same exact things I’ve seen before; nothing new, and not even written all that originally. Like I said, it’s as if people are just copying it from someone else’s site.

Now, I’ll be a little bit fair. Maybe, to someone, this is all new information. It’s just hard to believe, after I’ve been doing this for so many years, that this is new stuff for all that many people, especially the people who are writing it. And, to be fair again, I guess the other problem is that there’s not really much new that anyone can really offer on most of these subjects.

I mean, really, what’s new that someone can come along with to help drive traffic to their blogs anyway? The only things I really haven’t seen much of is sending email to everyone in your email address book asking them to visit your blog, leave a comment, and invite others to stop by. That’s something I’ve done, but only when I feel I’ve written a post that deserves a bit of attention. I’ve never asked anyone to Digg or Delicious or anything else to my posts other than sharing them. I do have that little thing above the comments box where people can do it if they so choose, and I do appreciate it when it happens (though I’m not on Digg or Stumble Upon, so I always wonder how I get traffic from those two places).

The other thing is to try to do offline marketing to see if you can drive people to your blog. I’ve seen postcards sent out to get people to visit websites, but never a blog. I’m thinking the costs of doing it would be prohibitive; after all, those costs are prohibitive when you’re using that kind of marketing for other reasons to begin with.

So, like the myth of “You Can Make 100,000 A Day If You Buy This Program,” the myth of “The Secret Of” is just that; a myth. Now, this isn’t to be confused with something I talk about all the time, that being the movie The Secret, something I’ve mentioned often but never really written about; I’m going to have to get that done soon, probably on my other blog, as it talks about the Laws of Attraction, and I need to have it bringing more people to me than sending people elsewhere.

So, we’re agreed? No more belief in “secrets of” other than what I’ve put below?

The Secret



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